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Swansboro teachers return to school, greeted with surprise

Teachers were welcomed back with $50 gift cards to use toward restocking their classrooms. (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12)

Many teachers in Swansboro returned to school on Thursday for the first time since Florence -- but they had no idea that surprise was in store for them.

Teachers were welcomed back with $50 gift cards to use toward restocking their classrooms. A collaborative effort called "Project Connect" helped raise around $13,000 to make the surprise possible.

The gesture comes as many are dealing with new challenges. Some teachers are still unable to work in their old classrooms due to storm damage.

Swansboro High School Band Director Daniel Scott witnessed the moment the teachers were given the gift cards.

"It was heartwarming having them just realize that this is something that is needed. I mean, thoughts and prayers are really important, but also getting something that's tangible that will really help benefit the students is something that is amazing," said Scott.

Students return on Monday. That return completes the third and final phase of Onslow County Schools reopening.

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